Which course did you graduate from?
I graduated from BA (Hons) Film Practice in July 2018, obtaining a 1st Class Honours.
Where are you from in the world?
Spiritually, I am universal; physically speaking, I am from Cameroon, Nigeria and Britain.
What have you been up to since you graduated?
I have been focusing on reworking some of my earlier scripts and rewriting some previous treatments. I’ve been engaged with more community networking, meeting of minds with current and upcoming filmmakers, poets and musicians.
I've also been establishing a monthly live DJ mix and watching cartoons to keep my spirit young.
How has your work evolved since you left LCC?
Since leaving LCC, for me, my evolution has been more of an emotional maturity as I tend to work from within before presenting outwards. So, in saying that, the way I present my expression specifically in film-making, has changed.
There’s more consideration when it comes to writing characterisations, thinking of the specific messages each character holds and which faces I see in the fictionalised personalities.
More importantly, the ultimate evolution has been the fuller understanding of which frames I am operating from and how this can translate effectively into any other future projects I undertake. Through this found growth, I have encountered a few exciting opportunities which have added encouragement and empowerment to my hard work.
Late last year, I received a recognition award for my contributions to film-making from the Cameroonian Academy Arts & Film Awards.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I really thank God for gifting me an amazing mother. I am very much inspired by my extremely gifted & spirited Mom (my best friend); through her life experiences as an Artist, Teacher, Caterer, Nurse/Midwife and Mother.
Over the years, every conversation we exchanged harboured life-changing lessons for me to obtain and attribute, being a guiding torch in navigating this world.
Another great inspiration is my grandmother, who is no longer physically in this world but very present in spirit and memory. My grandmother’s intuitiveness, intelligence and fearlessly which were passed onto my mother and surely onto me.
I am very proud to come from a family of awe-inspiring women, who continue to be my driving force to overcoming any obstacle.
I also draw inspiration from daily encounters shared with people, learning the world from different perspectives as much as I can. I find that a simple dialogue can ignite my next project or next inspiration.
What do you listen to when you’re making work?
I’m a bundle of mixed emotions when it comes to my music playlists, it ultimately boils down to the mood, energy, frame and space I am in.
I tend to derive more with Jazz, Hip Hop, Gospel, R&B, & Soul music playing in the background whilst working or writing. Some specific artists on those playlists would be Alice Coltrane, Bahamadia, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Floetry, Cloe Sol, Billie Holiday, Kendrick Lamar, MF Doom, Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, Ezra Collective, Nerija & my music (Masol).
What's the best show you saw in the last 12 months?
No show comes to mind but the best film I’ve seen in the last 12 months would have to be "If Beale Street Could Talk". I have yet to read the book but Uncle Barry did a phenomenal job in expressing the joys, love and pain endured by the characters Tish and Alonzo.
I felt every particle of each frame and was left paralysed in my seat after watching as I hadn’t seen the exploration, patience, authenticity of black love being viewed and presented in the form Barry Jenkins expressed. So yes, that film really inspired me and brought tears of joy to my eyes.
Why did you apply for the LCC Graduate Residency programme?
I was inspired from the work derived in my final year thesis, where I focused on uncovering the untold richness of Black British Cinema; portraying the importance of furthering the foundations already set by pioneer Black British filmmakers from the 70s, 80s & 90s whose audio‐visual works influenced British Cinema.
I found a lack of academic resources which solely focused on the works, methodologies and experiences of Black British filmmaking and filmmakers.
Throughout the writing process of my dissertation, God’s divine intervention led me to create purposeful work which can contribute to the preservation of works from African, Caribbean, Asian & Latin Filmmakers in Britain.
I sought my application for the LCC Graduate Residency programme as a platform which could establish the tip of the iceberg. The year-long residency at LCC will give me the opportunity to further this work and deliver it into multi-media processes, through film, audio and text.
What does the 2019 theme of Space Between mean to you?
My response to this year’s residency theme ‘Space Between’ is taken from my recent dissertation, which explores the audio‐visual works by Jenn Nkiru, Nathan Bryon & Tomisin Adepeju.
The thesis focuses on these three young & emerging Black British filmmakers bringing forth an avant‐garde & contemporary voice to Black Independent Film & British Cinema.
Furthermore, my work brings solutions to bridging a gap between past, present and future processes used in Black British Cinema. I am keen on furthering and sustaining these achievements as it holds significant space for social and economic impact to our future.
What are the ideas that you’d like to develop whilst on the Graduate Residency?
There are endless ideas to be developed throughout this Graduate Residency but for me, the main theme which arises is the importance of bridging gaps between our past and present, in order to find future processes.
The main frame here is to thread a stronger connection between The Pioneers which I refer to as ‘The Torch Bearers’, and current filmmakers, artists and thinkers which I recognise as ‘The Vanguard Children’.
Most importantly, I am excited to create a project which unveils the various entertainment methods in which we can learn from the past with futuristic technologies and methodologies. I am hopeful that this project can be ongoing for future UAL students to contribute and partake in.
How would you like to involve the LCC students in your project?
I am very keen in engaging with current second and third-year students from UAL, studying in any of the following Courses: Film, TV, Photography, Graphic Design, Sound, Journalism & Fine Art.
I am currently seeking to open doors from Heads of Departments, to allow me some days where I could sit in a few lectures and workshops myself, as this would help inspire and guide my focus throughout this work and process.
My main goal is to organise interactive workshops, Q&A sessions which the students can attend and get opportunities to open and extend discourse with pioneers and current filmmakers in the industry; I believe these conversations would help give answers of furthering the above-mentioned goals.
I endeavour to have a close selection of a few students from each department mentioned above, who are interested in collaborative opportunities and also an experience which can be recognised in their curriculum or noted in their CVs.
What are the main benefits you think you would get out of the residency?
As aforementioned, knowing the gravity of the ideas ahead, I am assured that the result of this residency will be the tip of the iceberg in providing a solid foundation for the comprehensive work to come.
I am more satisfied with the notion that the multi-media works created could become sources for study, whilst having some significance & impact to the next generation of filmmakers in Britain and Internationally.
Most importantly, the ultimate benefit is understanding that through the creation of the above works, there will be some addition to the grander discourse already established, with the direction of continuing to unearth more answers to questions ahead.
View the BA (Hons) Film Practice course page.
Find out more about the LCC Graduate Residency.
Check out some of Marie-Solange's work here: